Posts tagged new deal
Posts tagged new deal
Roosevelt was born Jan. 30, 1882.
Happy belated birthday, FDR! Yesterday marked the 32nd President’s 131st birthday. The four-term P.O.T.U.S. is best known for his New Deal plan during the Great Depression and his leadership during World War II. Despite losing the use of his legs at age 39 after a battle with Polio, Roosevelt is remembered for his sense of humor and optimism.
This Roosevelt campaign poster from 1936 can be found in the online collection of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Turning to some historical background, here’s a brief review of a book about someone who’s been obscured by history.
Frances Perkins - The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kristen Downey
In the last few months I’ve started to dive into the world of Non-Fiction books as well as Fiction. Spanning about 500 pages, Downey tells the life of Perkins with a focus on her time spent in the White House as the first female cabinet member as the Secretary of Labor.
What I found amazing was the reeducation of history that I had forced upon me because my US History class in high school failed me. I had never heard of Perkins and had always attributed everything in the New Deal to FDR. In truth, he helped, but it was 90% due to the extensive number of hours Perkins put into her work. Everything from the 40-hour work week to the end of the child labor came out of that office during her tenure.
The core of the text spans the beginning of the FDR Administration in the early 1930’s and continues through the start of WWII. This is not a book for people looking for action packed history. This is more of a political thriller for those intrigued by politics and the inner workings of Washington.
FDR is historically given credit for getting America out of the Great Depression, but in truth many of his accomplishments came from the Department of Labor, from Frances Perkins.
12,500 page goal: 496/12,500
From WABE News here in Atlanta:
Today is November 29th, and if we were to turn Atlanta’s clock back 76 years to this date in 1935, we’d find President Franklin Roosevelt in town for the official dedication of Techwood Homes—the first public housing project in the United States. Here, WABE’s Steve Goss talks with Georgia State University historian Dr. Cliff Kuhn.
Click the link for a radio feature with background on public housing in America.
Techwood was not Deco but it was a major New Deal project in Atlanta and one of hundreds of projects in the U.S. As the decades ran on, the initial vision crumbled into one of despair and hopelessness, not only in Atlanta but nation-wide. Today only one building of Techwood Homes (now Centennial Place) remains; it’s an nice L-shaped 1930s brick apartment building with individual entrances for each unit. I used to walk by it every day on my way to work, which at the time was Georgia Tech.
Reblogging this not just for the great vintage FDR election poster but for the information on the sad state of the nation’s bridges.
Example: Here in Atlanta a number of bridges have been replaced in recent years, but only because they were a about to crumble to the ground. Seriously, a couple blocks from me there was a section of viaduct that had holes in it big enough you could see the parking lot below. Many bridges have build dates on them and I see many of them that are 1920s or 1930s. They are concrete and stressed out handling traffic and weights they were never built for. They certainly weren’t intended to be used for nearly 100 years! But anyway, click the link to read this in full.
I spent the day at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. Faced with a catastrophic economy and rampant unemployment, Roosevelt put Americans to work revitalizing infrastructure and creating cultural and artistic capital. Yes, there were the…
Federal Art Project
After that last post, I wanted to share more information on the federal art and information projects of the 1930s. The post below is good. To view posters, visit the LoC site.
Work Pays America Prosperity
artist: Vera Bock. WPA
Vera Bock, who created this poster on American labor, was one of thousands of artists who participated in the Federal Art Project (FAP). Her work is found in many book illustrations and a wide variety of subject matter for the FAP. Part of the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the ambitious project started in 1935, and survived until 1943.
The artists of the FAP produced a wide variety of subject matter, labor, education, travel, the war effort, and reading and books are just several of the themes that appealed to artists who participated in the FAP.
George Biddle, the founder of the project, said that because of the Federal Art Project, the Depression exerted, “a more invigorating effect on American art than any past event in the country’s history.” While times were hard, the mood of the posters was typically upbeat and the designs were bold and original and many of the artists felt free to experiment with a wide range of concepts. For American art, it was a vital period that invigorated the entire country’s perception of what art could be and brought American art into the international forefront.
In addition to posters, the FAP created thousands of murals in public buildings all across the country. Artist such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Louise Nevelson, all left a moment of their creativity to posterity because of this program. As art historian Francis O’Connor said, “Something very vital indeed, something revolutionary happened to American culture during the 1930’s.”
One of the FAP’s major activities was the index of American Design. The project helped popularizing American folk art by documenting the countries “usable past” of over 20,000 photographic records of American art, painting, sculpture, handicraft and folk art. The project was dissolved in 1943.
The Library of Congress is the largest single holder of WPA posters, having over 900 in its collection.
Medium : 1 print (poster) : silkscreen, color
Created/Published : Federal Art Project, New York, between 1936-1941
Creator : Vera Bock, artist
Part of the Work Projects Administration Poster Collection housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress
WPA Posters @ Library of Congress
Whether your interest is history, graphic design, sociology, economics, these posters are great.
Did you know that you can view vintage WPA posters at the Library of Congress Website? I know! I had a hard time picking one of the posters… so I picked 2. But it could have easily been a dozen. If you’re looking for a time suck, I highly recommend heading over to the site and taking a look for yourself.
Ad for Tasker Homes, 1935
In Atlanta, home to the first ‘projects,’ most of these type of 1930s structures have been demolished and replaced with modern, mixed-income housing. And even as a preservationalist, I don’t have much of a problem with that because they had passed their usefulness.
Tasker Homes, artist unknown, 1935. WPA poster from the Print and Picture Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia